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Tom Bateman as Will and the company of 'Shakespeare in Love.' (Photo by Johan Persson/Courtesy of Disney Theatricals and Stratford Festival)

Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park 2017-18 Season to Feature Romance and Music

The season will contain world premieres from Deborah Zoe Laufer and Allyson Currin, as well as a new adaptation of ‘Shakespeare in Love.’

CINCINNATI: Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park has announced its 2017-18 season, featuring 11 productions programmed across two spaces.

“We’re planning a blockbuster lineup this year in the Marx Theatre,” says artistic director Blake Robison in a statement. “We’re producing two hits from London’s West End, two Tony Award-winning shows, and a beloved adventure story. In the Thompson Shelterhouse, we will showcase world premieres and hilarious comedies. This season is chock-full of great stories that will appeal to all generations.”

The Marx Theatre mainstage season will kick off with Lee Hall’s adaptation of Shakespeare in Love, based on the 1998 Oscar-winning film (Sept. 2-30). The fictional story follows a young William Shakespeare who falls in love with a noblewoman named Viola while working on his play Romeo and Juliet. Robison will direct.

Next up will be The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Oct. 14-Nov. 11), adapted by Simon Stephens from the novel by Mark Haddon. The play follows the adventures of 15-year-old Christopher, after he is accused of killing his neighbor’s dog. Marcia Milgrom Dodge will direct.

The holidays will feature Howard Dallin’s adaptation of A Christmas Carol for the 27th time (Nov. 22-Dec. 30). Michael Evan Haney will direct.

The first show of the new year will be Million Dollar Quartet (Jan. 20-Feb. 18, 2018). The musical is set in a recording studio with Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley. The book is by Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux and features the four artists’ greatest hits.

Next up will be George Brandt’s Marie and Rosetta (March 3-31, 2018). The play is based on the life of gospel singer Sister Rosetta Tharpe, famous in the 1930s and 1940s. Neil Pepe will direct.

Closing out the Marx Theatre’s mainstage season will be Ken Ludwig’s adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island (April 21-May 19, 2018). Robison will direct.

The theatre’s second space, the Thompson Shelterhouse Theatre, will kick off 2017-18 with Daniel Beaty’s Mr. Joy (Sept. 23-Oct. 22). The play is set in Harlem, where a community is in turmoil after Mr. Joy’s shoe repair shop suffers a violent attack. One actress will portray nine characters.

Next up, actor/director/playwright Frank Ferrante will portray legendary comedian Groucho Marx in An Evening with Groucho (Nov. 4-Dec. 17, 2017).

The world premiere of Deborah Zoe Laufer’s Be Here Now (Feb. 9-March 11, 2018) will be next. The play is about two lost souls in a small town who pull each other out of darkness.

Next up will be the world premiere of Sooner/Later by Allyson Currin (March 24-April 22, 2018). The play is about a teenage daughter who helps her single mother reenter the dating scene. Wendy Goldberg will direct.

The season will conclude with the musical Murder for Two (May 5-June 10, 2018), by Joe Kinosian and Kellen Blair. The musical comedy is a murder mystery, where characters try to figure out who killed a famous novelist.

Founded in 1959, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park programs a mix of musicals, dramas, comedies, and recent hits.

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